The mayor of London is scuppering efforts to reduce pollution in the Capital by rushing through an ‘ill-considered’ road safety scheme, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Announced by Sadiq Khan in September 2016, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) assesses what a driver can see directly from their HGV cab, in relation to other road users.
Under the DVS plans, which remain out for consultation, ‘off-road’ HGVs rated zero (out of five) will be banned from London’s streets by January 2020. By 2024, only HGVs achieving three stars or above – a ‘good rating’ in the new standard – will be allowed on London’s roads.
According to the FTA, whose members operate just under half of the UK’s HGV fleet, the length of time it is taking to finalise the DVS qualification levels, alongside an ‘unrealistic’ schedule for the scheme’s implementation, is causing frustration and confusion among logistics operators.
The FTA says operators are having to postpone the procurement of new, cleaner vehicles because they may not be eligible for use in London in the years ahead.
The FTA is calling on Transport for London to rethink its plans for DVS and coordinate the scheme’s implementation with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, to give logistics operators a chance to better plan their fleet requirements.
Natalie Chapman, the FTA’s head of urban policy, said:
“The mayor has scored a spectacular own goal with DVS.
“FTA, along with everyone living and working in London, wants to see an improvement in the city’s air quality, but this could have happened faster if the new DVS had been better planned.
“FTA’s submission to the latest consultation on the scheme provides evidence that truck owners and operators are delaying procurement of the cleanest Euro VI vehicles, because they have no idea whether they’ll meet the requirements of the DVS.”
08 February 2018